Student: Kama Woodall | Beaufort County Now | Kama Woodall hopes to represent young, disadvantaged people within the legal system one day.

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Crystal Baity.

Photos: Rhett Butler

    Kama Woodall hopes to represent young, disadvantaged people within the legal system one day.

    The aspiring attorney is a senior majoring in psychology and philosophy at East Carolina University — where she is a starting pitcher and captain for the Pirate softball team.

    "I chose ECU because I wanted to experience a community-like university atmosphere, where I felt at home on campus with the faculty and my peers," she said.

    Woodall is already using skills that will apply to her future career as a member of ECU's Student Athlete Advisory Committee. "I learned how to speak up for unheard voices and how to put plans into action to make a real difference for athletes on our campus," she said.

    Volunteering at the James and Connie Maynard Children's Hospital in Greenville and mentoring children at Elmhurst Elementary School have influenced Woodall. "I got the opportunity to meet very strong, courageous kids who truly humbled me as a person who gets to live such a privileged life," Woodall said.

    Softball has helped create ways to make a difference, she said. "Being an athlete taught me balance and how to compete for what I want on the field and in life," Woodall said. "I joined these activities because I wanted to be an active member of the Greenville and ECU community and continue to learn how to be a leader. They have all shaped me into a better person and teammate, and hopefully they will help me to spark change in the future."

Kama Woodall pitches against Ohio in the Pirate Invitational in February. | Photo: Contributed
    Volunteering at the James and Connie Maynard Children's Hospital in Greenville and mentoring children at Elmhurst Elementary School have influenced Woodall. "I got the opportunity to meet very strong, courageous kids who truly humbled me as a person who gets to live such a privileged life," Woodall said.

    Softball has helped create ways to make a difference, she said. "Being an athlete taught me balance and how to compete for what I want on the field and in life," Woodall said. "I joined these activities because I wanted to be an active member of the Greenville and ECU community and continue to learn how to be a leader. They have all shaped me into a better person and teammate, and hopefully they will help me to spark change in the future."

    Kama Woodall pitches against Ohio in the Pirate Invitational in February. (Contributed photo)

    Her interest in psychology and law school is rooted in growing up in a suburb of Tampa, Florida. Psychology came first; Woodall is the youngest of six children.

    "I always wondered how people all raised the same way came out so differently, which led me to my interest in developmental psychology," she said. "After a few years learning what we know about young adults developmentally, I gained an interest in the legal system, specifically with juveniles. Where I grew up, I had many experiences with teens and the law, and the more I learned from my studies the more I understood that the American legal system is failing youth."

    Data shows that Hillsborough County, where Tampa is the county seat, had the highest number of arrests for first-time juvenile offenders of misdemeanors in the state of Florida in 2019-20.

Student-athlete Kama Woodall wants to make a difference for others.
    The outcomes for the people involved help drive Woodall's passion for legal reform. "This is what led me to pursue law school in the future, in the hopes of one day representing young, disadvantaged Americans within the legal system," she said.

    This past season, Woodall led the Pirates with a 3.36 earned run average as well as a team-high nine victories. Her best game came on May 2 when she allowed just two hits and struck out eight in a 1-0, eight-inning victory over South Florida. Before graduating from ECU in 2022, Woodall will pitch in her final year of eligibility while earning a certificate as a behavioral specialist.

    What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? East Carolina is a community like no other. There are always people who are willing and eager to help if you reach out. I wish I had taken advantage of all the amazing peers and mentors here at ECU sooner!
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